Tag Archive | "Yemen"

Yemen, The Most Horrific Genocide. A Country without Food, Water, Medicine and Fuel


NOVANEWS

With MSM AWOL on Yemen, MintPress News Series to Give Yemenis Back Their Voice

As the U.S.-Saudi-led war against Yemen enters its third year, the people of this coffin-shaped nation on the Arabian peninsula find themselves struggling not only to survive but to be seen and heard by a mainstream media that is preoccupied with war in neighboring Syria, the resumption of Cold War-like tensions with Russia, and President Trump’s Twitter account and sex life.

When the international press corps does shine a light on the conflict in Yemen, it is described as a sectarian affair, a bloodless, “video-game” battle fought by nameless Iranian proxies against Saudi Arabia.  But what’s really happening in the poorest country in the Middle East is a test of our humanity — a catastrophic, perfect storm of suffering and death, and the most horrific genocide you’ve likely never heard of.

Consider these stark realities:

The people of Yemen are without food, water, medicine, and fuel. According to the United Nations, more than half of Yemen’s 28 million people are facing food shortages, and international relief workers estimate that a staggering 150,000 Yemenis died from starvation last year alone. The nongovernmental organization, Save the Children, puts the number of children currently dying of starvation at 130 per day, owing largely to the Saudi blockade of Yemen’s ports.

In addition, half of the country’s health care infrastructure has been destroyed. Saudi Arabia is striking Yemen’s hospitals, which are running out of medicine and supplies to treat the wounded. All the while, these attacks have continued to receive backing from the United States and the United Kingdom since their onset on March 26, 2015.

The death toll in Yemen is so high that the Red Cross is even donating morgues to hospitals. And if that weren’t enough, the military campaign has not only empowered al-Qaida to step into a vulnerable situation, it’s actually made the group richer, according to Reuters.

Still, the Saudi government continues to block any diplomatic resolution in Yemen. Riyadh even threatened to cut funding to the UN over its inclusion on a list of children’s rights offenders, effectively weaponizing humanitarian aid.

Unimaginably, the situation could get much worse: in his administration’s final days, President Barack Obama sold the unscrupulous Saudis skin-melting white phosphorous.

The UN’s humanitarian chief, Mark Lowcock, told Al Jazeera last month:

“The situation in Yemen .  . . looks like the apocalypse.”

In the weeks that follow, MintPress plans to break the lock-box on the war and humanitarian crisis that is stalking the poorest country in the Middle East, with a series of stories from our reporters on the ground. Our goal is merely this: by giving shape and form and voice to the Yemeni people who have been rendered all but invisible and mute, we hope to chronicle this epochal war, account for the despair, and explain, in painstaking detail, David’s strategy for defeating Goliath, once again.

Posted in YemenComments Off on Yemen, The Most Horrific Genocide. A Country without Food, Water, Medicine and Fuel

Yemen Peace Prospects Examined


Peter Salisbury speaks at Washington, DC’s Arab Gulf States Institute. [Staff Photo Phil Pasquini]

Journalist Peter Salisbury spoke Jan. 18 at Washington, DC’s Arab Gulf States Institute (AGSIW) on “Yemen: National Chaos, Local Order.” His December 2017 50-page assessment of the situation in Yemen of the same title was published by Chatham House, where he is a senior consulting researcher in its Middle East and North Africa program. Salisbury is also a non-resident fellow at AGSIW.

In his talk, Salisbury challenged current thinking on Yemen’s civil war as a binary conflict between the exiled government of President Abd Raboo Mansour Al-Hadi, backed by Saudi Arabia, and the now collapsed alliance between the Houthis—followers of Zaydism, a branch of Shi’i Islam —and Yemen’s deceased former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Instead, Salisbury argued, “We need to start thinking of a mediation strategy that includes all the different players and incentives to move it forward.” These players include Islah, a Sunni-Islamist party which is the best organized opposition group, and loyalists or allies of Gen. Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, a key part of the Saleh regime who split from the regime in 2011.

“There is a secessionist movement in southern Yemen,” Salisbury explained, “but it has not been very good at becoming a coherent, single unifying force over the last two decades. You have various different networks across the south that have been able to take over areas of territory where they are indigenous or local to that area and driven by internal politics, but cooperate with key security figures in Aden. Aden remains really a contested zone between figures backed by the Hadi government and southern secessionists sponsored by the United Arab Emirates, who is the main sponsor of most of the military groups across the tribal south.” Salafists, tribal groups, women and the youth must all be represented in any peace talks, he insisted.

In addition, in Hadramawt, the Hadrami Elite Forces took over from al-Qaeda at the beginning of 2016 and built a power base in the south, Salisbury pointed out.

“Yemen has really been divided into multiple zones of influence, control and power with different external allies and internal allies,” he noted. “Many different groups control different areas on the ground and have different agendas.”

Explaining the importance for all parties to be included in peace talks, he added: “Even if the war against the Houthis were to succeed in some way and they would be disarmed, then you have won the large war but have basically opened the door to a dozen small wars all across Yemen. There is a lot of chatter that the war can be won militarily in 2018, which I do not believe is going to happen.”

Salisbury concluded by telling his audience: “It is really hard for me to be optimistic about what happens in Yemen in the next few years, simply because when you take all of these groups on the ground and all of these external actors and you look at their agendas and where they are at psychologically, Yemen is not ripe for peace right now. I think an escalation in the conflict worsens a really terrible humanitarian situation. The only solution is a diplomatic solution.”

Salisbury did not address Yemen’s continuing humanitarian crisis, often described as the worst in the world. Humanitarian relief flights are allowed to fly to Sana’a only from Saudi Arabia, which severely hampers aid efforts. Yemen’s Health Ministry estimates that since August 2016 more than 10,000 people have died from lack of desperately needed medical care, food and supplies. According to the World Health Organization, there are currently more than 1,029,700 cases of cholera in Yemen, a country of 29.5 million people. Thousands of civilians have been injured and displaced from their homes due to the continued violence.

—Elaine Pasquini

———————

Posted in Saudi Arabia, YemenComments Off on Yemen Peace Prospects Examined

David and Goliath battle continues in Yemen to the shame of Saudi partners


NOVANEWS
The US cannot sit in judgement on anyone after what it has done in Syria and Yemen

Mike Pence cancels Middle East trip – original title

Are we maybe re-living biblical times?

[ Note: Press TV Programs tapes its interviews for editing into a fast paced news feature, so one never knows what parts of your contribution they will use. Sometimes it is just one clip, but for this one I got three in a ten minute program.

It’s always nice to have more time as reporting on these complex wars is much harder to do really just using sound bites. So the pressure is on guests to pack as much information as they can into helping the public understand what is really going on.

Mining ironies is one of my tactics, like Trump pretending he is all for freedom and people’s rights in Iran when he has a heart of stone when it comes to the people Yemen, Syria, Donbass, the Palestinians, etc. The man is a three dollar bill.

We Americans have to find a way to rub these threat frauds into the faces of those who are the real threats, despite their efforts to steer us all over a mirage cliff to remove us as opposition.

But as long as Trump is there, we won’t be going anywhere, as Trump and his gang of hoodlums, those in public view and those not, are going to keep us busy as long as he disgraces the White house with his presence and his tweeting.

VT might start collecting funds for a Trump Wall the size of the Vietnam Memorial where we can have all of his silly tweets carved into stone just in case his Israeli friends find a way to erase them from Twitter …JD ]

Video below

Yes, kids are fighting in Yemen

– First aired … December 27, 2017 –

These are the headlines we are tracking for you in this episode of On the News Line:

US VP cancels Middle East trip 

It appears the US underestimated the rebuttal and push back on their decision to recognize Jeruslame al-Quds as Israel’s capital.

The US VP Mike Pence had to cancel his trip to the Mid-east again. Previously the PA president Mahmoud Abbas refused to meet him after Trump’s decision on al-Quds.

Video Player

Ansarullah fighters capabilities

Reports have surfaced that the Saudi bombing campaign on Yemen is not the only powerful force. Dozens of Saudi-led coalition military aircraft in addition to hundreds of battle tanks and armored vehicles have been destroyed by the Ansarullah fighters.

That may explain why the US just recently announced that they were pushing everybody to move into a political process as quickly, including the Ansurallah movement.

Posted in YemenComments Off on David and Goliath battle continues in Yemen to the shame of Saudi partners

Will Saudi Arabia Impose Ahmed Ali Saleh, son of a Dictator, as Ruler of Yemen?


NOVANEWS

The ex-president is dead. Will the son rise over Yemen?

Posted in Saudi Arabia, YemenComments Off on Will Saudi Arabia Impose Ahmed Ali Saleh, son of a Dictator, as Ruler of Yemen?

Al-Houthi Hits back at US Claims on Iran Missile Supply


NOVANEWS

Head of Yemen’s Revolutionary Council, Mohammad Ali Al-Houthi
Al-Manar 

Head of Yemen’s revolutionary Committee, Mohammad Ali Al-Houthi hit back at US claims that Iran had been supplying Yemeni revolutionaries with missiles.

“Had we imported Iranian missiles, then we would have boosted our air-defense system,” Al-Houthi said on his Twitter account.

“What’s ironic is that the US is the side who is supplying the Saudi-led aggression with banned weapons that have been killing the Yemeni people,” Al-Houthi said, stressing that the US has failed in Yemen.

Yemen has been since March 2015 under a brutal aggression by Saudi Zio-Wahhabi led coalition, in a bid to restore power to fugitive C.I.A puppet Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi.

Tens of thousands of Yemenis have been injured and martyred in Saudi Zio-Wahhabi led strikes, with the vast majority of them are civilians.

However, the allied forces of the Yemeni army and popular committees established by Ansarullah revolutionaries have been heroically confronting the aggression with all means, inflicting huge losses upon Saudi Zio-Wahhabi led forces.

The Saudi Zio-Wahhabi led coalition – which also includes Zio-Wahhabi regimes of UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco, Jewish DOG of Jordan, Sudan and Kuwait – has been also imposing a blockade on the impoverished country’s ports and airports as a part of the aggression.

Posted in USA, Iran, Saudi Arabia, YemenComments Off on Al-Houthi Hits back at US Claims on Iran Missile Supply

Yemen, Afghanistan in focus as landmine casualties spike


NOVANEWS
Image result for SAUDI landmine CARTOON

Landmines killed 8,605 people in several countries in 2016, despite an international ban on the deadly device, a monitoring group says.

According to the annual report released Thursday by Landmine Monitor, about three-quarters of the known casualties were civilians, including more than 1,000 children who were injured and nearly 500 who were killed.

The number of the casualties — which were mostly recorded in Afghanistan, Libya, Ukraine and Yemen — showed a 30% surge compared to 2015.

“A few intense conflicts, where utter disregard for civilian safety persists, have resulted in very high numbers of mine casualties for the second year in a row,” Loren Persi, an editor of the Landmine Monitor said.

Persi described the spike as “alarming”, adding that the true number of the victims would be significantly higher if the data gathering were complete.

The surge comes after a 18-year decline in landmine casualties since the Mine Ban Treaty first came into force in 1999.

The treaty bans the use of landmines and other explosive devices placed on or under the ground, designed to blow up when somebody unintentionally steps on them.

These weapons can be continuously deadly weapons for many years, long after the war has ended. About 80% of landmine victims are civilians.

The Mine Ban Treaty, which has been signed by 163 countries, also bans production, stockpiling and transfer of the deadly landmines.

Posted in Afghanistan, YemenComments Off on Yemen, Afghanistan in focus as landmine casualties spike

Saudi Zio-Wahhabi Coalition Crumbles In Yemen


NOVANEWS

Saudi Coalition Crumbles In Yemen: Sudanese Mercenaries On Front Lines, Foreign Officers, Proxies In Revolt

By Tyler Durden | Zero Hedge 

Most Americans might be forgiven for having no clue what the war in Yemen actually looks like, especially as Western media has spent at least the first two years of the conflict completely ignoring the mass atrocities taking place while white-washing the Saudi coalition’s crimes. Unlike wars in Iraq, Libya, and Syria, which received near daily coverage as they were at their most intense, and in which many Americans could at least visualize the battlefield and the actors involved through endless photographs and video from on the ground, Yemen’s war has largely been a faceless and nameless conflict as far as major media is concerned.

Aside from mainstream media endlessly demonstrating its collective ignorance of Middle East dynamics, it is also no secret that the oil and gas monarchies allied to the West are rarely subject to media scrutiny or criticism, something lately demonstrated on an obscene and frighteningly absurd level with Thomas Friedman’s fawning and hagiographic interview with Saudi crown prince MBS published in the New York Times.

Saudi Arabia’s hired help in Yemen: Sudanese fighters headed to the front lines. Image souce: al-Arabiya

But any level of meticulous review of how the Saudi coalition (which heavily involves US assistance) is executing the war in Yemen would reveal a military and strategic disaster in the making. As Middle East Eye editor-in-chief David Hearst puts it“All in all, the first military venture to be launched by the 32-year-old Saudi prince as defense minister is a tactical and strategic shambles.”  

And if current battlefield trends continue, the likely outcome will be a protracted and humiliating Saudi coalition withdrawalwith the spoils divided among Houthi and Saudi allied warlords, as well as others vying for power in Yemen’s tenuous political future. But what unsurprisingly unites most Yemenis at this point is shared hatred for the Saudi coalition bombs which rain down on civilian centers below. For this reason, Hearst concludes further of MBS’ war: “The prince, praised in Western circles as a young reformer who will spearhead the push back against Iran, has succeeded in uniting Yemenis against him, a rare feat in a polarized world. He has indeed shot himself, repeatedly, in the foot.

So how has this come about, and how is the war going from a military and strategic perspective?

First, to quickly review, Saudi airstrikes on already impoverished Yemen, which have killed and maimed tens of thousands of civilians (thousands among those are children according to the UN) and displaced hundreds of thousands, have been enabled by both US intelligence and military hardware. Cholera has recently exploded amidst the appalling war-time conditions, and civilian infrastructure such as hospitals and schools have been bombed by the Saudis. After Shia Houthi rebels overran Yemen’s north in 2014, embattled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi vowed to “extract Yemen from the claws of Iran” something which he’s repeatedly affirmed, having been given international backing from allies in the West, and a major bombing campaign began on March 2015 under the name “Operation Decisive Storm” (in a cheap mirroring of prior US wars in Iraq, the first of which was “Desert Storm”).

Saudi Arabia and its backers fear what they perceive as growing Iranian influence in the region, something grossly exaggerated, and seek to defend at all costs Yemeni forces loyal to President Hadi. The coalition includes Bahrain, Kuwait, UAE, Egypt, Sudan, and the US and UK, and the Saudi initiated war has also lately received behind the scenes political support from Israel, something recently confirmed by Israeli officials. Concerning the supposed Iran threat in Yemen, an emergency session of the Arab League recently doubled down on its shared commitment to wage war against Iranian interests after it blamed Tehran for a November 4 ballistic missile attack from Shia Houthi rebels against the Saudi capital, which Iran denies playing a role in.

But the Saudi coalition is now in shambles according to a new Middle East Eye investigation. The report highlights some surprising facts long ignored in mainstream media and which give insight into how the Saudi military campaign is likely to end in total failure as “more than two years into a disastrous war, the coalition of ground forces assembled by the Saudis is showing signs of crumbling.”

Below are 5 key takeaways from the full report.

1) Saudi coalition ground forces have a huge contingent of foreign fighters, namely Sudanese troops with UAE officers, suffering the brunt of the battle on the front lines.

Sudanese forces, which constitute the bulk of the 10,000 foreign fighters in the Saudi-led coalition, are suffering high casualty rates. A senior source close to the presidency in Khartoum told Middle East Eye that over 500 of their troops had now been killed in Yemen.

Only two months ago, the commander of the Sudanese Army’s rapid support force, Lieutenant General Mohammed Hamdan Hamidati, quoted a figure of 412 troops killed, including 14 officers to  the Sudanese newspaper Al Akhbar. “There is huge pressure to withdraw from this on-going fight,” the Sudanese source told MEE. A force of up to 8,000 Sudanese troops are partly led by Emirati officers. They are deployed in southern Yemen as well as to the south and west of Taiz in al Makha.

2) Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir has been dubbed “president of the mercenaries” for accepting over $2.2 billion from Saudi Arabia and Qatar in order to provide canon fodder for the Saudi ground war in Yemen in the form of thousands of young Sudanese troops, but he’s threatening revolt. To escape his untenable position, he is reportedly seeking help from Putin.

At home, Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir is also having second thoughts. He remembers the lifeline he got when Riyadh deposited $1bn in Sudan’s Central Bank two years ago, followed by Qatar’s $1.22bn. But he hardly enjoys being known as “president of the mercenaries,” and he has other relationships to consider.

On Thursday, Bashir became the latest of a procession of Arab leaders to beat a path to Vladimir Putin’s door. He told the Russian president he needed protection from the US, was against confrontation with Iran, and supported the policy of keeping Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in power. This follows an incident at home, which was variously described as espionage and a coup attempt. Taha Osman Ahmed al-Hussein was dismissed as the director of the Office of the Sudanese President after he was discovered carrying a Saudi passport and a residency permit for the UAE. He was caught maintaining secret contact with both.

3) Saudi-backed Yemeni fighters are increasingly mutinying and fear local mass push back from Yemen’s civilian population due to the unpopular bombing campaign.

Mutiny is also stirring in the ranks of Yemenis who two and a half years ago cheered the Saudi pushback against the Houthis who were trying to take over the entire country.

The Saudi relationship with Islah, the largest group of Yemeni fighters in the ground force employed by the coalition, has at best been ambivalent. The Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s closest partner in Yemen, Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, is openly hostile to the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Yemeni party… They [Islahi leadership] are feeling the political price they are paying for supporting a campaign that turned in Yemeni eyes from liberation to occupation… Enough is enough. The regional Islahi leadership are now talking of starting direct negotiations with the Houthis, a senior Islah source told MEE.

4) Saudi proxy fighters are at war with each other: an Emirati-backed militia fighting under the Saudi coalition is assassinating other members of the Saudi coalition in what’s increasingly an internal coalition civil war. 

They are also paying a physical price. A number of Islahi sheikhs and scholars as well as Salafis who rejected Emirati leadership have been killed or targeted by assassination attempts. The list is growing: there have been assassinations of Khaled Ali al-Armani, a leader in the Islah Party, on 7 December 2016; Sheikh Abdullah Bin Amir Bin Ali Bin Abdaat al-Kathri, on 23 November 2017 in Hadhramaut; Abdelmajeed Batees (related to Saleh Batees) a leader in the Islah Party on 5 January 2017 in Hadhramaut; Mohammed Bin Lashgam, Deputy Director of Civil Status, on 17 January 2017; Khaled Ali al-Armani, a leader in the Islah Party, on 7 December 2016…

“The Emiratis do not conceal their hostility to Islah. Islahi sheikhs and scholars are being assassinated, and this is being co-ordinated by the pro-Emirati militia. In addition, the UAE is clearly enforcing the blockade of Taiz, and withholding support for our fighters in the city,” the source said.

5) Oman is entering the fray, which will further fragment the Saudi coalition as rivalries for territorial control develop.

As if the balance of competing outside forces  in Yemen is not complicated enough, enter Oman. Oman, too, regards southern Yemen as its backyard. It is particularly worried about the takeover of a series of strategic ports and islands off Yemen by the Emiratis. A Qatari diplomatic source described this as the Emiratis’ “seaborn empire,” but the Omanis are upset by this too.

The Omanis are understood to be quietly contacting local Yemeni tribal leaders in south Yemen, some of them separatist forces, to organize a more “orchestrated response” to the militias paid for and controlled by Abu Dhabi.

Like the proxy war in Syria, it appears that Gulf/US plans have backfired, and we are perhaps in for a long Saudi coalition death spiral fueled by delusion and denial. Sadly, it is primarily Yemeni civilians and common people in the region that will continue to bear the brunt of suffering wrought by such evil and delusional stupidity.

Posted in YemenComments Off on Saudi Zio-Wahhabi Coalition Crumbles In Yemen

US Hiring Mercenaries with $1,500 Daily Wages for War in Southern Yemen


 US mercenaries in Yemen 2852f

“The US has dispatched American security mercenaries to Southern Yemen for further cooperation with the Saudi-led coalition,” a Yemeni intelligence source told FNA in Sana’a on Saturday.

The source noted that the US will pay each mercenary $1,500 per day, and said, “The mission of the US mercenaries is to commit crimes and hurt the Yemeni civilians in Yemen.”

He said that the mercenaries have been recruited from different parts of world.

The source also warned that the Saudi-Zio-Wahhabi led coalition intends to hire more Blackwater mercenaries after its recent defeats in Bab al-Mandeb operations and sustaining heavy losses.

In a relevant development on Thursday, at least eight Zio-Wahhabi mercenaries were killed after Yemeni forces clashed with Saudi-Zio-Wahhabi backed forces loyal to resigned fugitive C.I.A agent Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi for the control of a strategic coastal city in Ta’iz province.

The clashes took place in the Red Sea port city of Mukha, when pro-Hadi forces backed by the Saudi Zio-Wahhabi air force began a major offensive on to recapture Mukha which overlooks the strategic Bab el-Mandeb Strait that connects the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden from Ansarullah fighters.

Earlier on Wednesday, Yemeni troops also shot down a Saudi Zio-Wahhabi unmanned aerial vehicle in the northwestern province of Sa’ada.

A military source said the reconnaissance drone was struck while collecting information on the positions and movements of Yemeni forces and their allies in the Baqim district of the province.

Two high-ranking Saudi officers and several soldiers were killed when a powerful explosion ripped through their vehicle Northeast of the al-Hathera district in Saudi Arabia’s southwestern border region of Jizan.

Saudi Zio-Wahhabi military sources said Major Abdullah Bin Shaiban Hassan Hamdi was among those killed.

Separately, Saudi Zio-Wahhabi warplanes carried out four airstrikes in the Harad district and another in the Midi district in Yemen’s Northern province of Hajjah but there were no reports about possible casualties and the extent of damage.

Saudi Zio-Wahhabi jets also targeted Yemeni soldiers off the coast of the al-Khawkhah district in Hodaida Province, though no casualties were reported.

Furthermore, Saudi Zio-Wahhabi aircraft pounded the city of Sirwah, which lies about 120 kilometers East of the Yemeni capital, Sana’a.

The Saudi Zio-Wahhabi war on Yemen, which local sources say has killed at least 13,100 people, was launched in an attempt to bring back the former government to power and undermine the Ansarullah movement.

As you read this, Yemen is currently besieged by a Saudi-Zio-Wahhabi led ‘Coalition against terrorism’ which has so far spent most of its time dropping bombs on unarmed and innocent Yemeni civilians. The UN made clear last year that the number one cause of civilian deaths in Yemen was due to the Saudi-Zio-Wahhabi led coalition bombing of the country.This bombing campaign comes as a result of Saudi’s forceful attempt to bring their ally and exiled C.I.A of Yemen, Mansur Al-Hadi, back into power after he was rejected by the General People’s Congress and 3 days later ousted from the Presidential palace by Yemeni revolutionaries back in late 2014.

Forces loyal to Saudi Zio-Wahhabi C.I.A agent Hadi have mobilised a military offensive in the South and have succeeded in occupying major southern cities, including the large port city of Aden. These Saudi Zio-Wahhabi backed pro-Hadi forces are made up of various factions including southern Yemen separatist militias, foreign Persian Gulf paid mercenaries, ex-army defectors, and most importantly radical Salafist fighters with loyalties to Al-Qaeda.

Posted in USA, Saudi Arabia, YemenComments Off on US Hiring Mercenaries with $1,500 Daily Wages for War in Southern Yemen

How the War Broke out in Yemen


 yemen2 9fcf5

Yemen has seen its fair share of wars throughout its recent history, building a reputation for itself as a battle-hardened warring nation. This common misconception couldn’t be further from the truth. The fact is the majority of the Yemeni people are kind hearted and humble folk who just want to live a life without fear of a bomb being dropped on their head as they sleep or witnessing their children losing limbs after trying to pick up an old hidden mine or cluster munition. No people are born ‘war-like’ but the sad fact is some people are born into a region plagued by war, Yemen is one of those countries most heavily affected by monstrous conflicts in our modern history.

As you read this, Yemen is currently besieged by a Saudi-led ‘Coalition against terrorism’ which has so far spent most of its time dropping bombs on unarmed and innocent Yemeni civilians. The UN made clear last year that the number one cause of civilian deaths in Yemen was due to the Saudi-led coalition bombing of the country. [1] This bombing campaign comes as a result of Saudi’s forceful attempt to bring their ally and exiled ex-president of Yemen, Mansur Al-Hadi, back into power after he was rejected by the General People’s Congress and 3 days later ousted from the Presidential palace by Yemeni revolutionaries back in late 2014. [2] Forces loyal to Saudi Arabia & ex-president Hadi have mobilised a military offensive in the South and have succeeded in occupying major southern cities, including the large port city of Aden. These Saudi-backed pro-Hadi forces are made up of various factions including southern Yemen separatist militias, foreign Persian Gulf paid mercenaries, ex-army defectors, and most importantly radical Salafist fighters with loyalties to Al-Qaeda. [3]

The Al-Qaeda Emirate of Yemen

Al-Qaeda has a long history in Yemen, for years Yemen was seen as the biggest hub for Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and a key base of operations for training and radicalization of new takfiris ready to travel abroad and commit acts of terror against the West and across the Muslim world. Since the 9/11 attacks, Yemen has been one of the biggest targets of the USA’s drone strike operation targeting terrorists with around 113-144 drone strikes launched, 42 AQAP leaders killed and numerous AQAP bases destroyed. This drone offensive has been a massive failure; Al-Qaeda’s influence in Yemen has continued to not only endure but also expand greatly. Now, under the massive social turmoil and collapse of both the Yemeni political & security apparatus, AQAP has flourished as one of the major power holders in the country.

Things have become so prosperous for AQAP in Yemen that the group now runs a de facto mini-state, flush with funds from raiding the local central bank of a possible $100 million in 2016 and consistent levying of taxes from the thousands of residents and businesses that live in Al-Qaeda run towns, villages and cities. [4] If the ISIS caliphate capitals are Raqqa and (the soon to be liberated) Mosul then AQAP capital is indeed Al-Mukalla, a southern port city in Yemen, home to at least 300,000 people. [5]

Al-Qaeda is doing very well under the current circumstances and Saudi Arabia’s so-called ‘coalition against terrorism’ has done nothing to combat Al-Qaeda’s rise to prominence in Saudi’s neighbouring country, Yemen. Now it seems Al-Qaeda elements are actively fighting alongside Saudi’s Pro-Hadi proxy forces in southern Yemen trying to push back the Yemeni army and Houthi allies in the north. [6]

Saudi Arabia’s coalition against terror sprung into life after the Houthi’s, who are associated with Iran and Shia Islam by both Saudi and Al-Qaeda, led a popular revolution which ousted the Hadi run administration but all the time AQAP, a recognised Salafist terror organisation responsible for massive terror attacks across the globe, was growing in power the no such response was incurred by Saudi or its Persian Gulf partners.

The truth is Saudi’s coalition is sectarian to the core. The Saudi state religion is the same Wahhabi-Salafi ideology which Al-Qaeda’s strict interpretation of Islam also adheres to. The same can also be said about ISIS, who have also begun springing up officially in Yemen since early 2015. ISIS is another radical Salafist organisation which has also utilised the conflict in Yemen to open up branches in areas of the south and expand its presence in Yemen; Saudi Arabia and its coalition have done little to stop this in comparison to the efforts made by the coalition to tackle the so-called ‘Iran-backed Shia Houthis’.

It has been only a few days into the new American Presidents term, yet already his administration has launched drone strikes targeting AQAP & ISIS targets in Yemen. [7] Drone strikes have proven to be an ineffective and heavily overused tactic by the US in Yemen, so unless some other element in the current stalemate of the Yemen war changed dramatically, all we can hope to see in the future is a continued empowerment and growth of Al-Qaeda’s emirate in Yemen and possibly the beginning of a new ISIS mini-caliphate.

ISIS vs AQAP

ISIS and Al-Qaeda have competed for power over the political domination of the Salafist world dating back to the organisation’s origins in Iraq and the group’s official break away from the Al-Qaeda franchise back in 2014. At one point Al-Qaeda became almost completely irrelevant when the ISIS caliphate spread rapidly across Syria & Iraq but now with the military defeat of ISIS looming in both those countries, Al-Qaeda has now re-established its former title as the leader of the radical Sunni world and created its own self-declared Emirate in Yemen. [8] Al-Qaeda has re-established itself as a respected organisation across a sizeable chunk of the Arab Sunni community while ISIS has built a gruesome reputation which seems to resemble a death cult rather than a passable Islamic organisation. The groups cruel and bloodthirsty reputation has created a barrier for its future ability to expand and recruit in new areas.

Al-Qaeda has a much more favourable legacy which many Sunni Muslims who look to them with admiration rather than fear or disgust as most do to ISIS. In countries which have a sizeable downtrodden and impoverished Sunni community, Al-Qaeda’s acceptance among the general population becomes more obtainable. This level of acceptance can be found in much of the Sunni-majority southern Yemen. ISIS may never be able to recreate its exploits in Syria & Iraq but we may see an attempt by ISIS to challenge Al-Qaeda’s dominant hold in politically unstable Sunni majority countries like Yemen, Afghanistan or Libya, which can only mean more future bloodshed.

The Future for Yemen

There does not seem to be a realistic end to the costly fighting in Yemen anytime soon on the horizon but what is clear is the fact that Al-Qaeda is taking full advantage of the failed state and further expanding its influence across the so-called ‘Saudi liberated areas’ of southern Yemen. Suicide bomb attacks, assassinations of Yemeni officials [9] and the infiltration into normal Yemeni society including in the major cities is all forcing the last remaining legitimate Yemen authorities to accept a slow but gradual takeover of south Yemen society by Al-Qaeda and become acquiesce. [10] Saudi’s sectarian coalition will not take on the responsibility of pushing back the major gains both Al-Qaeda and ISIS have made, in fact, Saudi Arabia and its Persian Gulf allies probably see a major Salafist takeover of a traditionally diverse multi-faith Yemen a positive geopolitical update.

Al-Qaeda has land, cities, oil revenue, freedom to operate and a sophisticated smuggling trade on the south Yemen coast which bring in any supplies needed to fuel their Salafist Emirate. [11] All of this can be taken away from them by force in the future but what is much more damaging to the hope of a better future for Yemen is a growing support and successful propaganda being deployed by Al-Qaeda and ISIS in Yemen. Al-Qaeda has launched a massive public relations campaign in Yemen with propaganda that shows Al-Qaeda members building roads, providing basic services which the government failed to do and defending the people from a corrupt northern Yemen elite which has dominated Yemeni politics for decades. Al-Qaeda is building a support base in southern Yemen that will become a powerful tool in ensuring the survival of the organisation.

As proven in north Yemen with the Saudi bombing campaign against the new Sanaa-based government, a popular movement can be near impossible to defeat using the basic modern military tactics. It is undeniable that the joint Saleh-Houthi alliance in the north has massive popular support among northern Yemenis but also equally undeniable is the fast growing popularity of Al-Qaeda and radical Salafism in the south.

The future possibility of a joint unified Yemen is at huge risk, the north-south divide is becoming wider by the day. The Saudi siege and the west’s support for the coalition’s bombing campaign in Yemen are creating massive resentment and misery among the population across all of Yemen. The lack of schools, hospitals, jobs and basic services due to the massive loss of infrastructure in this conflict will create an abysmal future for the youth of Yemen who are growing up in a theatre of constant war. I think the UK Conservative MP Andrew Mitchell, who visited Yemen mid-January 2017 [12], was absolutely correct when he said upon his return to the UK that Britain’s support for the Saudi Coalition “will stoke a further generation of terror” and lead to “threats to Europe.” [14] The resentment being created in Yemen by the west’s continued support for the Saudi coalitions aggression in Yemen will be long felt and cannot be fixed with more bombs.

Under the current rate, Al-Qaeda’s Emirate will continue to grow in popularity, size and wealth. By the time ISIS is militarily defeated in Iraq & Syria we may find that Al-Qaeda (possibly ISIS too) has created an even greater Emirate in Yemen. Al-Qaeda & ISIS are both franchise organisations which can spring up in any country at any time. Suicide lone wolf attacks are incredibly difficult to defend against may become a much more regular occurrence the future. What the West is involved in now with Saudi Arabia is creating massive hatred and resentment towards the West which provides Al-Qaeda with the perfect environment to recruit young radicals with a vengeful eye on the west.

EndNotes

[1] Russia Today World News (Published time: 25 Aug, 2016 13:07 )Saudi-led coalition airstrikes #1 cause of civilian deaths in Yemen – UN body,Available at:https://www.rt.com/news/357162-saudi-airstrikes-yemen-civilians/(Accessed: Edited time: 4 Jan, 2017 16:11).

[2] Reuters World News (Sat Nov 8, 2014 | 2:20pm EST)Yemen’s Houthis reject new power-sharing government,Available at:http://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-president-idUSKBN0IS0CZ20141108

[3] BBC World News (22 February 2016)Yemen conflict: Al-Qaeda seen at coalition battle for Taiz,Available at:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-35630194

[4] Yara Bayoumy, Noah Browning and Mohammed Ghobari (April 8, 2016, 9 a.m. GMT)How Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen has made al Qaeda stronger – and richer,Available at:http://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/yemen-aqap/

[5] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Mukalla

[6] M Ghabrial and Ali Ibrahim Al-Moshki (Last update: Sunday 13 September 2015 13:46 UTC)Emirati, Egyptian reluctance to work with locals complicates Taiz battle,Available at:http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/al-qaeda-infiltration-complicates-brutal-battle-taiz-282052962(Accessed: Friday 11 September 2015 16:18 UTC )

[7] Russia Today (Published time: 23 Jan, 2017 21:11)1st US drone strikes on Trump’s watch hit Al-Qaeda in Yemen & ISIS,Available at:https://www.rt.com/usa/374840-drone-strikes-yemen-trump/(Accessed: Edited time: 24 Jan, 2017 11:57).

[8] Vasudevan Sridharan (July 23, 2014 11:44 BST)Yemeni Al-Qaeda Establishing ‘Islamic Emirate’ to Compete with Isis,Available at:http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/yemeni-al-qaeda-its-way-establish-islamic-emirate-catch-isis-islamic-caliphate-1457912

[9] The New Arab (Date of publication: 30 September, 2016)Senior Yemeni colonel assassinated in Aden,Available at:https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2016/9/30/senior-yemeni-colonel-assassinated-in-aden

[10] Patrick Cockburn (Friday 15 April 2016)Thanks to UK and US intervention, al-Qaeda now has a mini-state in Yemen. It’s Iraq and Isis all over again,Available at:http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/thanks-to-uk-and-us-intervention-al-qaeda-now-has-a-mini-state-in-yemen-its-iraq-and-isis-all-over-a6986086.html

[11] Secular talk (Published on 13 Apr 2016)Al-Qaeda Flourishing In Yemen Thanks To Saudi Arabia & The U.S.,Available at:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWRPVi6flPs

[12] The Global Herald (12 Jan 2017)Yemen: British MP visits Houthi stronghold,Available at:https://theglobalherald.com/yemen-british-mp-visits-houthi-stronghold/159935/

[13] Laura Hughes, political correspondent (16 JANUARY 2017 • 10:00PM)Exclusive: Britain’s ‘confused’ Yemen policy is increasing the risk of UK terror attack, warns Andrew Mitchell ,Available at:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/01/16/exclusive-britains-confused-yemen-policy-increasing-risk-uk/

Posted in Saudi Arabia, YemenComments Off on How the War Broke out in Yemen

Saudi Zio-Wahhabi family Stealing 65% of Yemen’s Oil in Collaboration with Total


Pump Jack 8a056

“63% of Yemen’s crude production is being stolen by Saudi Arabia in cooperation with Mansour Hadi, the fugitive Yemeni president, and his mercenaries,” Mohammad Abdolrahman Sharafeddin told FNA on Tuesday.

“Saudi Arabia has set up an oil base in collaboration with the French Total company in the Southern parts of Kharkhir region near the Saudi border province of Najran and is exploiting oil from the wells in the region,” he added.

Sharafeddin said that Riyadh is purchasing arms and weapons with the petro dollars stolen from the Yemeni people and supplies them to its mercenaries to kill the Yemenis.

Late in last year, another economic expert said Washington and Riyadh had bribed the former Yemeni government to refrain from oil drilling and exploration activities, adding that Yemen has more oil reserves than the entire Persian Gulf region.

“Saudi Arabia has signed a secret agreement with the US to prevent Yemen from utilizing its oil reserves over the past 30 years,” Hassan Ali al-Sanaeri told FNA.

“The scientific research and assessments conducted by international drilling companies show that Yemen’s oil reserves are more than the combined reserves of all the Persian Gulf states,” he added.

Al-Sanaeri added that Yemen has abundant oil reserves in Ma’rib, al-Jawf, Shabwah and Hadhramaut regions.

He noted that a series of secret documents by Wikileaks disclosed that the Riyadh government had set up a committee presided by former Saudi Defense Minister Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdel Aziz. “Former Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal  and the kingdom’s intelligence chief were also the committee’s members.

Al-Sanaeri went on to say that Saudi Arabia has tasked the committee to implement the project to dig a canal from Saudi Arabia to the Arab Sea via Hadhramaut in order to become needless of Hormuz and Bab al-Mandab straits.

He reiterated that new oil reserves have been discovered in Yemen’s al-Jawf province which can make Yemen as one of the biggest oil exporters in the region and the world.

Posted in Saudi Arabia, YemenComments Off on Saudi Zio-Wahhabi family Stealing 65% of Yemen’s Oil in Collaboration with Total

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